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Stardust (2007 PG-13)

December 4, 2007

Here's the poster for clicky goodness.

CAST

When I saw the previews for Stardust I wasn’t at all impressed. It wasn’t anything in particular that turned me off, but seeing De Niro didn’t help. I’m not a big fan of his, but I was slightly intrigued by the presence of Ricky Gervais. In fact, I ended up watching the film because of Gervais’ role in it, and I am glad I did.

The cast is full of recognizable faces, or rather actors and actresses I am familiar with but aren’t necessarily immediately recognizable. Part of the fun of the movie was trying to pick them out as I watched. The cast as a whole included the likes of Peter O’Toole, Sarah Alexander, Michelle Pfieffer, Julian Rhind-Tutt, David Williams, Rupert Everett, Jason Flemyng, Mark Heap, Mark Strong, Mark Williams, Dexter Fletcher, Sienna Miller, Ian McKellen, Struan Rodger, and Claire Danes.

The cast is obviously strong, but I do have one complaint with Claire Danes. Why do they cast American actresses to play British roles in films that are filled with real Brits? She wasn’t horrible with the accent, but it still bugs me. The character wasn’t technically even British, and she could have just as easily used her actual accent. Why not do that?

Cast = 19

Soundtrack/Score

The Harry Potter franchise can take a note from Stardust. A good soundtrack or score can make a mediocre film good, and as The Order of the Phoenix so glaringly showed, a bad soundtrack can make a mediocre film bad. Ilan Eshkeri‘s score compliments the film very well, and is just about as good as could be asked for.

Soundtrack/Score = 18

Quote/Catch Phrase

I’m fairly hesitant to put anything in this category as I am quite certain that quotable lines will make themselves more apparent with subsequent viewings, but I have to put something. So, I will go with a line from the narrator’s opening dialog, “A philosopher once asked, ‘Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?’ Pointless, really. ‘Do the stars gaze back?’ Now that’s a question.”

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly a “Here’s looking at you, kid,” but the movie is a comedy in the style of The Princess Bride. This line starts to set the tone for the film as a comedy with some poignancy, and for that reason isn’t a bad representative for the film.

Quote/Catch Phrase = 16

STORY

The movie is set in England 150 years ago, and focuses on a small village called Wall. The village got it’s name from the wall that ran alongside the village and which created a border to another world. A small fracture in the wall was guarded by the village to keep people from crossing into the other world. Despite their efforts, a young man crossed into the world and met a young princess who was enslaved by a witch.

The interaction between the young man and the princess indicates the chief difference between The Princess Bride and Stardust: Stardust is certainly more risqué. The boy returns to Wall, and about 9 months later is given a basket containing his son. His son is the protagonist, and in effort to woo a young lady in the village, he promises to find a shooting star that fell to the earth in the land beyond the wall.

Meanwhile, in Stormhold, the land beyond the wall, the king is on his deathbed and his four surviving sons are vying for the crown. The King had killed his brothers to ascend the throne, and he was disappointed that four of his sons still survived and thus made his decision more difficult. He decides to cast the magical stone, the sign of kingly authority, into the heavens, and tells his sons that the one who retrieves it will be king.

However, the stone runs into a star, and it and the star fall to the ground in Stormhold. It’s this falling star that the young man in Wall promises to retrieve for his crush. The movie tracks the quests of the princes who would be king, the boy who would marry his crush, and three witches who want to eat the heart of the star which grants them long life.

I’ve also included the trailer at the end of the review to help get the story across.

Story = 18

Rewatchability

The film does a good job of intertwining the journeys of those seeking the star, and does so with humor and some decent special effects. The film comes off as a more modern, slightly edgier Princess Bride, and I was rather surprised with how much I liked it. It definitely lends itself to subsequent watches, and is likely even enjoyable enough for a younger crowd.

I’m actually already looking forward to seeing it again.

Rewatchability = 19

Total Score = 90

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